Naar Paar Project : Drought of thought…
Peth: It is a steep climb and she is on to a task…carrying two pots of water on her head…one in one hand and a two-year-old kid in another…also a little one inside her womb…all her effort is to quench the thirst of her family.
This was a live picture at Ambari village in Peth tehsil where Deshdoot Times team had gone to do a ground report on the water situation in the area. Traveling into the interiors and speaking to the tribal people who are the local inhabitants of this region brought out a stark difference in the thought process of the city dwellers and the tribals.
As we entered Peth we found women with pots and buckets in hands rushing towards a tanker. As we were about to think that this could probably be a scene of a drought area we were told that water is not a problem in Peth.
There are two ponds with ample of water to quench the thirst of the residents of Peth..there however is a problem to the motor that lifts up the water for the last two days the residents informed.
As we move into the mountains the story continues to be the same. Ambari gets its water from a pond four kilometres away and it is picked upto a tank in the hamlet through a pipeline.
However since last eight years inspite of spending lakhs of rupees the tap water scheme is incomplete and so another pipe takes the water from the pond to a wall about a kilometer and half below the village. It is a routine exercise for women to fetch lots of water as most of the men dwell idle in the hamlet.
Another village, Zari, across the mountains is very picturesque. Lined by the Naar river the village shows two pictures. One with a well gone dry and the other with a well having sufficient water just a few metres across each other.
What comes as a startling picture in this vilage is that a young girl around three years old with her elder siblings may be around six years old are playing by the river. What they play is not a fiction game but the reality of life. Each one with a pitcher good for her size was fetching water from the well pulling it out to fill a pot kept outside.
While we look at this age of the girls the float of love pomp and security in the city here at Zari village the two girl were playing the game of reality, saying that whatever water they collect will help their mother.
Young boys in this village are sitting under a tree with mobiles in their hands. “There is no range here…so what are you doing”? we ask. “Watching a movie which we have downloaded going 500 meters up the mountain as the phone range is available on top of the hill”.
For them, life is only about working in the fields during the sowing and harvesting season and watching movies as against the thought of school, college, study, careers, jobs that the youth in the city grapple with.
The village is unanimous on one thought though that they will not evacuate for construction of the Naar-Paar dam which is just a few kilometres down their village. One thing is clear though that the region has water enough for people to survive the summer however there is lack of will to ensure that life can turn better.